Copying, Re-editing, Re-writing, Rote

The work for Al-Mutanabbi Street has developed; hand-copying, rote learning, the act of re-producing data is in itself a very interesting process for me. The things that get left out, the mistakes, the way the eye sees and transmits this information into something else, suddenly become of interest. The why? of copying something by hand in this technological age, and then the why? again of using a method of reproduction to make more.
 It is a simple idea, not a beautiful one, but it is a something I want to follow through. The Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition project has seen so many beautiful broadsides and artists' books made, but I have been interested in producing something that speaks of what you might have found on that street before the bombing started; pirated copies of books, cheaply photocopied pamphlets, democratic multiples of literature that was perhaps banned, or even literature that wasn't, but produced cheaply so that distribution could be wide spread. Also stationary, pens, paper, exercise books for school boys to use for their homework. 
Using a school handwriting pen and 3 cheap exercise books and print outs of the first 3 pages of google search results using the search term 'Al-Mutanabbi Street'. I am searching google web, google books and google scholar; one for each exercise book. When this is done I will bring them to another form of reproduction; the photocopier...

I forgot to say (for those who don't read the bookartobject blog) that I did two write ups of my trip to the London Art Book Fair; you can read all about it here for Day 1, and here for Days 2&3. It was great this year, so much going on with lots more interesting talks alongside, also lots of local bookshops and galleries were putting on related shows so it was a wonderfully packed weekend. Hopefully next year is just as good; it's on the up!
Sara MacKillop display at Donlon Books

1 comment:

ronnie said...

ahhhh the old calligrapher in me responds to the idea of hand writing and copying... it was, after all, how ALL books were originally produced and how knowledge was transported over the oceans.....(and I like stupidly labour intensive art activities!)